Thursday, June 2, 2011

Blackberry Coffee Cake

A coffee cake made well can be dangerously addictive, but oftentimes they turn out flavorless and dry. When I came across this variations, I knew I wanted to bake it since I'd never tried a coffee cake with blackberries or a cream cheese layer. I also have loved every recipe I've made from, so I was optimistic. This coffee cake was everything I hoped it would be. Moist, flavorful, and crowd pleasing.

The first time I made this cake, I had all the layers poured into the spring form pan and just as I was about to put the cake into the oven, the spring form fell apart and the batter went all over the counter. After a few rounds of cussing and throwing the broken spring form into the garbage, I found a different spring form, scooped up the batter and berries from the counter, and dumped them into the form. I made a new crumble topping and figured I might as well see if I could save it. The batter tasted delicious, so I had high hopes, even for this reject variation. Believe it or not, this version of the cake still tasted great (this is the cake in the photo above since the other was eaten before a picture could be taken). I made a nicer version a few days later for my mother's book club and it was a hit. If you think you hate coffee cakes and find them bland, this one will quickly change your mind.

Recipe from Joy of Baking
Makes one 9" cake

Streusel Topping:
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup/56 grams butter (cold and cut into pieces)

Cream Cheese Layer:
8 oz/227 grams cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon all purpose flour

Cake Batter:
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup milk
1 cup blackberries (or blueberries or raspberries)

Preheat oven to 350F/175C. Grease a 9" spring form pan.

Begin by making the streusel. In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar and cinnamon. Cut in the butter with a fork (I just use my hands) until it looks like coarse crumbs.

Next make the cream cheese filling. In a food processor, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients for the cream cheese filling and blend until smooth and creamy.

Begin making the cake batter by whisking the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Beat the butter until smooth and creamy (use the paddle attachment on your electric mixer). Add the butter and beat until light and fluffy. Next, mix in the egg and vanilla. Add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk, and beat until combined.

Spread the cake batter on the bottom of your spring form. Next, spread the cream cheese filling over the cake batter. Sprinkle the blackberries over the cream cheese layer and top with the streusel.

Bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until the streusel is golden. Serve warm or at room temperature. If you have leftovers, store in your fridge.

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